2020 - 2021 Season

The Relevant Creativity Series is the UK Department of Theatre & Dance's response to being Artists in this unprecedented time when theatres and performance venues are shuttered due to COVID-19. These wildly creative projects offer a substitute to a traditional season. It gives our students an outlet for their voices to be heard and talents to be seen outside of the classroom. Working within the constraints of COVID mitigation protocols, the art, craft, and discipline of Theatre and Dance are still happening in our Department.

Better Maybe

Better Maybe, by Caridad Svich, will be presented as a video recording and part of the Play at Home Initiative, created by a group of regional theatres who have generated "a series of short plays commissioned specifically for this moment of unprecedented isolation to inspire joy and connection for all." 

"The piece is both a love story to theatre and a light of optimism. Caridad is an extraordinary and poetic writer and the piece, in the voices of our students, speaks of the immediate future in relation to Covid-19, but also, I think, to something more profound." - Stephen Wrentmore, director

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Pasek and Paul

Our Musical Theatre Certificate students present an evening of songs from Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriters Benji Pasek and Justin Paul, best known for their work on Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and The Greatest Showman.

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Once Vacant: Bodies in motion...still

Once Vacant: Bodies in motion...still

Bodies in Motion dancer jumping

Orange Lot located at Kroger Field, 1540 University Drive
Saturday, October 17, 2020, 2pm, 8pm, 9:30pm

The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance presents Once Vacant: Bodies in motionstill. The dancers will perform in the Orange parking lot on UK's campus, while the audience will maintain social distance surrounding the performers in their cars. The practice of occupying vacant spaces is a tool that many dancers and dance companies are accessing globally to continue to create, perform, and advance the field of dance during the pandemic. As dancers and choreographers, we continue to seek motion as a means of enlivening a world that has become motionless. Once Vacant reimagines a public space while illuminating the vital role that dance can play in advancing political, social and cultural discussions. Choreographers Susie Thiel, Stephanie Harris and Theresa Bautista's dance works center around the questions, what does the body mean in spaces and places and how can entropy lead to liberation?

(in)VISIBLE 3.12

invisible text on black background

(in)VISIBLE 3.12 is the first in a series of installations by assistant professor Yoon Bae that mark 200 days since live theatre ended across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The installation was filmed in early October and is available online. 

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A Distant Dream


An adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, recorded and available online in spring semester 2021.


November 20 - 22, 2020, On Demand Online

This modern riff on the fifteenth-century morality play "Everyman" follows "Everybody" as they journey through life's greatest mystery - the meaning of living." -Dramatist Play Service, Inc.

This is a Free On Demand recording of UK Department of Theatre & Dance's production of "Everybody".

Company Members are:

Matt Morse
Jules Clarke
Moniece Mosley
Milo Hahn
Zoe Womack
Jacob Ernst
Ceana Carey
Emily Spencer
Cory Evans
Martha McHaney
Madeline Bavely
Annie Sheehy
KJ Wilkerson
Jace White
Heather Brown
Jedd Greenhalgh
Benjamin Bossert
Nathaniel Riddle
Peter Stone

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The Watsons by Laura Wade

March 19 - 21, 2021
Online, Registration Required

Staged reading directed by Christina Ritter. This event will be available on demand online via a password-protected link March 19 through March 21 only. Free, but registration is required. REGISTER

The Watsons by Laura Wade

What happens when the writer loses the plot? Emma Watson is 19 and new in town. She's been cut off by her rich aunt and dumped back in the family home. Emma and her sisters must marry, fast.

If not, they face poverty, spinsterhood, or worse: an eternity with their boorish brother and his awful wife. Luckily there are plenty of potential suitors to dance with, from flirtatious Tom Musgrave to castle-owning Lord Osborne, who's as awkward as he is rich. So far so familiar.

But there's a problem: Jane Austen didn't finish the story. Who will write Emma's happy ending now? Based on her incomplete novel, this sparklingly witty play looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen and asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

The Watsons was first performed at The Chichester Festival Theatre, directed by Samuel West on 8 November 2018. By arrangement with Knight Hall Agency Ltd. An amateur production.

EchoLocation: The Mobile Tour

EchoLocation: The Mobile Tour

April 2, 5pm
April 3, 1pm and 5pm
University of Kentucky Campus

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kentucky invites the community to experience a site-specific dance performance, EchoLocation: The Mobile Tour. Due to COVID-19, the dance program aims to present a diverse performance opportunity for our students, faculty and community. Most recently, the focus is on “site-specific performances” in which the venue is intrinsic to the work. The locations will be easily accessible through the program and map which can be found on a phone or tablet, “mobile.” And the audience will move from location to location, “tour.” 

The performance consists of choreography by UK students and faculty on the University of Kentucky campus and the Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky. The locations range from a parking garage to a rose garden, and the choreography explores a variety of themes from COVID-19, politics, culture, environment and simply movement for movement’s sake.  

After purchasing a ticket online, the schedule and more information will be available. During the performance, the audience will move together from one location to the next, beginning at the Singletary Center for the Arts and ending at the UK Arboretum.

All CDC guidelines will be followed during this event and golf carts will be available for those who would like assistance traveling from location to location. Please contact the Department of Theatre and Dance at uktheatre@uky.edu or 859-257-3297 if you require mobility assistance.



Plum Blossoms - EveMarie Bessenbach (Faculty) 

According to Chinese philosophy, the plum blossom symbolizes perseverance, hope, and renewal in overcoming adversity.  The plum blossom blooms between the winter and spring seasons, a parallel to our current world in 2021 as we slowly emerge from the quarantine of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plum Blossoms is an exploration and visual representation of the adversities experienced during the pandemic, yet there is always the promise of spring and of hope.  

Self- Acceptance - Madi Moorhead (Sophomore, Dance Major)  

Self-acceptance is something that a lot of people in today's world struggle with. Throughout this solo work I wanted to share my personal experience with my audience. I am taking all of the negative thoughts and words I have been called and writing them onto my body. As the piece goes on, I finally find peace and happiness within myself and wipe these negative words off of my body. I hope the audience finds moments to connect to, relate with and find solace.  

Woven Wishes - Brittany Johnson (Junior, Double Major in Dance and Family Science) 

Woven Wishes  is a work grounded in attachment theory, the idea that childhood and lived experiences affect our behaviors and attitudes surrounding relationships and intimacy. Drawing on in-depth research and personal experience, the resulting work is an exploration of what it means to connect with another human and all the joy, tension, and discomfort that can sometimes follow. How do we see and experience connection? How do we respond when people get too close? And more importantly, when presented with the fire of connection, how do we choose to keep warm?  

Proximity – Haley Shaver (Freshman, Double Major in Dance and Chemistry)  

Haley Shaver explores what it means to just dance in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her piece, set atop a parking garage, dives into movement for movement’s sake. The duet with Claire McDermott is meant to be an analysis of organic, unifying movements set against the backdrop of the isolating times of COVID-19.   

ISA - Sylvannah Regalado (Junior, Dance Major on the Pre-Pharmacy Track)

Isa, which means “one” in Tagalog, dives into the effects and emotions that result from isolation. It challenges you to think about how being isolated can take a toll on your well-being. Quarantine, time-outs, being alone in your room, prison cells, etc. What does that do to a person? This work delves into the thoughts that arise, how people reflect on their selves, and more. Do you like being alone?   

Unfolded - Caitlin Espinueva (Junior, Dance Major on the Pre-Physical Therapy Track)  

With the ever-growing culture of fast fashion, Unfolded comments on the realities of the industry and its damaging effects on both the environment and human rights. The fast fashion industry has a business model built on cheap materials using cheap labor, resulting in a mass production of low-quality clothes with a short lifespan made at the expense of massive amounts of textile waste and extremely low wages for garment workers. 

How it Started vs. How it's Going - Genesis Lorjuste (Senior, Double Major in Integrated Strategic Communications and Dance) 

How it Started vs How it's Going examines the effects that trauma has on my everyday emotional and physical activities. The piece explores this idea through past, present, and future lenses. Additionally, the dancers and I give everyday anxiety, human characteristics through personification. After enduring a traumatic experience, it is common to dwell on the "should've, could've, would've" which can be crippling when there are so many things we must think about as humans. The dancers will be acting the wars in my mind and pulling from their own experiences to bring life to my personal narrative as a survivor. 

Supercuts - Breanna Hagan (Senior, Biology Major with Interdisciplinary Arts and Minor in Dance)  

Due to the recent pandemic, we can’t spend time with our friends and loved ones like we used to. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still spend time with each other. My friends and I love to get into a studio late at night and create little works just for us, and we’ve been able to become closer by creating together through heartbreaks to celebrations. supercuts is a small glimpse into our little world.  

To feel the earth beneath my feet - Stephanie Harris (Faculty)  

There is a constancy to nature which remains a steady gravitational force within our unstable world. I have spent the past year seeking its sanctuary as a space of enlightenment, a space of knowing as I struggle to perceive this existence. We are of the earth and it calls to us to remember the impermanence of things.  This enduring companion calls us forth to dance with delight in the knowing of the freedom that can be found within its shelter. I feel the earth below me and the sky looking endlessly above and within that place, my heart remains open.

(in)VISIBLE 365

(in)VISIBLE 365